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Storm brewing as three wind turbine bids set for go-ahead 

Credit:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 6 January 2012 ~~

Three applications to install three wind turbines in Halifax have been recommended for approval, sparking fears that random turbines are being allowed to spread unchecked throughout the borough.

In one of the largest schemes, RNK Renewables Ltd wants to install a 50KW Endurance turbine on a 25m high tower on a field north of Upper Soil Hill Farm in Bradshaw.

But objectors say such a commercial turbine would dominate the whole of Soil Hill and create serious noise problems while ‘shadow flickers’ “could upset the horses nearby”.

Concerns are also expressed by residents that the openness of the green belt would be harmed and drivers on roads nearby will be distracted by the blades.

In a report for members of the planning committee, which meets on Tuesday, Calderdale’s head of planning, Geoff Willerton, says the proposal is considered to cause only “limited harm to the landscape and quality of the environment” and none to horses.

In conclusion, he says: “It is considered that the design, scale and noise levels of the proposal are acceptable in this location.”

The second scheme is a proposal by Paul Robinson to install a 60KW Gaia wind turbine on a 22m monopole mast on land next to Cock Hill, Keighley Road, Illingworth.

Similar concerns are expressed by residents about the effect on nearby horses, the spread of “unplanned random turbines” and its alleged potential impact on a nearby listed building.

But there are 18 letters of support claiming the impact on the local community would be minimal, with one writing: “It is great that a farmer wants to be self-sufficient and also think of the environment in this way.”

Mr Willerton recommends the proposal gets the go-ahead, saying it would cause “limited harm to the landscape” and its impact on a Grade II listed drying shed and chimney of a former pottery is unlikely to “impact significantly.” The third proposal is for a one KW Gaia wind turbine mounted on a free standing 15m monopole on land at Harper Barn, Bradshaw Lane, Halifax.

Mr Willerton says the plans have been brought before members of the committee for determination as a similar one has been previously refused by members.

It also has a slightly bizarre aspect in that, after planning permission was refused in February 2010 for a turbine on an 18m pole, an inspector later dismissed an appeal. He said the positioning of the turbine, being “almost directly in the eye line of a batsman on some of the wickets, with part of the tower and the whole of the moving blade visible above the existing sightscreen behind a bowler’s arm,” would create a distraction.

Twenty-one objections were received with suggestions that the turbine would “generate far more electricity than the applicant can use.”

The report says the pole is lower and should not affect cricketers and recommends approval.

A conservationist has blasted proposals to erect 16 wind turbines on the roof of a historic Scarborough hotel, claiming the move would be a “scar” on the seaside resort’s renowned Victorian Esplanade.

The chairman of the town’s Civic Society, Adrian Perry, has labelled the plans for the prestigious Crown Spa Hotel as an act of “vandalism” on one of the town’s rare Grade II* listed buildings.

The group has joined English Heritage and a string of nearby residents in strongly objecting to the application, which is set to go before planners next week.

Mr Perry said: “It’s like trying to put wind turbines on the headland next to Scarborough Castle. It’s scandalous. It’s just vandalism really.”

Despite receiving over 20 letters of support for the proposal, officers at Scarborough Council have recommended that the application is turned down due to the visual impact on the building and the threat of noise to neighbours.

Source:  Yorkshire Post, www.yorkshirepost.co.uk 6 January 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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